Jury Convicts Man of Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine
MAY 17 --(HOUSTON, TX) United States Attorney Michael Shelby announced the return of a jury's verdict convicting Terry Hidalgo, 51, of Lafayette, Louisiana, and New Caney, Texas, of joining a conspiracy that manufactures methamphetamine in Mexico and then smuggles it into the United States. The jury found Hidalgo guilty of agreeing to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine.
Trial began on Monday, May 9, 2004, and concluded this afternoon with the jury's verdict. During the five-day trial, the United States presented evidence that proved that on June 16, 2004, Hidalgo joined an ongoing multi-faceted conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine. The evidence showed that Hidalgo agreed to sell some Montgomery County property worth $171,000 in exchange for $3,000 worth of methamphetamine per month. The agreement valued each ounce of Methamphetamine at $1,500. Hidalgo claimed he had been entrapped into agreeing to violate the law by a government informant. However, the United States presented evidence showing Hidalgo was ready and willing to violate the law whenever the opportunity was afforded and the Drug Enforcement Administration did no more than offer the opportunity.
Hidalgo faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and a maximum of life in federal prison, without parole. Hidalgo, who has been held in federal custody since his arrest in October 2004, will remain in federal custody pending his sentencing. United States District Judge Nancy F. Atlas, who presided over the trial, has set sentencing for August 8, 2005, at 3:30 p.m.
The case was investigated by agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Internal Revenue Service. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys John P. Smith and Stuart A. Burns.